Summer Stay-cation | Our Unscripted Life | Mike Wade by Michael Wade

Summer Stay-cation | Our Unscripted Life | Mike Wade

We have been meaning to do more trips with our children and summer but between work, life, and a 17mo old, I haven't been up to it. However, with my wife's general persistence and guilt trips, I finally committed to packing the kids up and travelling a few hours north to the metroplex for a short summer "stay-cation". I'M SO GLAD THAT WE DID!!! We packed up the "Mom mobile" (Honda Odyssey) and set out upon our 3rd family get away! 


Everett & the kitties | Mike Wade | Our Unscripted Life by Michael Wade

Everett & the kitties | Mike Wade | Our Unscripted Life

After killing two snakes in 2 weeks, my wife and I decided to get a couple of "outdoor" kittens in hopes that they will grow up and keep the snakes away from the backyard. This summer, more than most, we have worried about snakes (mainly due to the giant cornfield that backs up to our house; it's harvested now and surely has made the critters move more). We could have not predicted how much Everett would grow to love the kittens and refers to himself as the "Kitty Daddy". 

 Everett & Willow

Everett & Willow

 Everett, Willow, & Tracy

Everett, Willow, & Tracy

 Everett, Willow, & Tracy

Everett, Willow, & Tracy

our-unscripted-life-7-3-18-04.jpg

Fire | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography by Michael Wade

 Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

 Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

 Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

 Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

 Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

 Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

 Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

Hillsboro Fire Department | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography

Independence Day | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography by Michael Wade

Happy Independence Day

 Whistling fireworks are horrifying!

Whistling fireworks are horrifying!

 Smoke bombs are the best!

Smoke bombs are the best!

 Watermelon on the 4th of July, it's tradition.

Watermelon on the 4th of July, it's tradition.

 Nervous about lighting his first firework

Nervous about lighting his first firework

 Everett lit his first firework

Everett lit his first firework

 Look close and you can see the watermelon in his mouth. 

Look close and you can see the watermelon in his mouth. 

 Bennett enjoyed watching the parachutes deploy.

Bennett enjoyed watching the parachutes deploy.

 The boys loved running through the smoke.

The boys loved running through the smoke.

 Through smoke and fire, they are best buds.

Through smoke and fire, they are best buds.

I edited this whole set with Ana Rosenbergs "ROS Presets". Check out Ana's work Here

I see me in you (Part 1: Bennett) | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography by Michael Wade

Watching my kids, I can see a little of me in each one of them (Part 1: Bennett)

When I started documenting the lives of my kids, 5 years ago, I knew that I would be capturing those everyday moments that are the most significant but are the first to be forgotten. I didn't realize that through my camera, I would see each of my children differently and analyze their every move, gesture, and mannerism, while trying to capture the scene through the photograph. 

B, Bub, Bubba, Bennett...

 Bennett wiping his eyes | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalist

As far back as I can remember, I HATED water on my eyes. This goes well beyond just being uncomfortable. To this day, if water gets on my face, I vigorously rub my eyes. B does the same thing.

 Launching trains down a homemade ramp | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

Over the years, I always have looked for ways to make things go faster. I've been obsessed with speed. Bub, continues on in that tradition. He will take apart his toys and tracks, in order to build an epic ramp. He continuously is looking for ways to speed "anything" up. 

 Building the tree house | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

We both obsess with trying to make things perfect (we rarely succeed). While building Bubba's fort, I was reminded a multitude of times to make sure "it's square" and that the "lines don't line up". These weren't simple reminders, these are the things that he notices when he is putting something together.

 Using a vintage camera to photograph things as he see's it

Photography has been my "Major" hobby for 5 years and his interest in it grows constantly. Maybe this is more of a "hope" than a similarity but Bennett loves to take photographs. I hope this passion continues for years to come and one day we can set out upon the world together, capturing every moment. 

Farm Fresh | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography by Michael Wade

Farm Fresh

Let me be the first to say, I do not have the green thumb. As a kid, I remember walking through my Grandpa JB's garden and picking black berries, pulling carrots, and eating a handful of jalapeno peppers (thanks to my older brother). Fast forward 30 years, Grandpa JB has passed on, the garden has moved about 200 yards from it's previous spot, and my Dad (Paw-Paw as my kids call him) grows and maintains the garden.

 Everett is a big helper | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

Everett is a big helper | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

 Big brother handles the really big ones | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

Big brother handles the really big ones | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

 A watchful eye is the key to gardening | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

A watchful eye is the key to gardening | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

 Fruits of your labor | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

Fruits of your labor | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

 Anything big brother does, I can do better | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

Anything big brother does, I can do better | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

 There is always time to play in muddy puddles | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

There is always time to play in muddy puddles | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

 Like mother, like daughter | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

Like mother, like daughter | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

 Sometimes you need to be told to put down the camera | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

Sometimes you need to be told to put down the camera | Rural Life Photography | Family Photojournalism

All in all, yesterday was a great day. We spent the day with each other, spent the evening with family, and enjoyed picking veggies (like I did 30 years ago). I also released a new preset pack (RLP-Pushed), which you can find right HERE ;)

Best. Dad. Ever. | Kristal Wade by Michael Wade

Father's Day | 2017

You may or may not know this about our family, but we don't get to spend a lot of time as a unit. Not near as much as we'd like anyway. Unfortunately, Michael spends the majority of his days, each month, on the road for work. He often leaves home in the wee hours of Monday morning to catch his 5:20am flight. Once he lands at his destination du jour, he wastes no time and heads straight into work. This plays in reverse each Friday when he works all day and catches the last flight out, then crawls into our bed hours after the rest of us have gone to sleep. I cannot imagine how exhausting it must be for him week after week. When he comes home there is almost always a list of things that need to be crammed into the two days he's with us, and "relax" is rarely on that list. But you know what? I have NEVER heard him complain. Not even once. I'm consistently in awe of his stamina and mental strength. I have to continually remind myself that this is just a season in our life and we will regain some semblance of normalcy when the time is right. For now, this is our life and while it's not always easy, we're in it together and we'll see the other side soon. It's easy, even today, for a man to take a back seat in the parenting of his children. It'd be even easier for him to do so given his schedule. However, if you asked him when Everett's next check up is - he could tell you. If you asked him what Bennett is allergic to (long list) - he could tell you. If you asked him how much the baby weighs now - he could tell you. If you asked him what size clothes or shoes any of them are wearing - he could tell you. When baseball practice or school vacations are - He. Could. Tell. You. That's the kind of Dad he is. Because he wants to be.

Here's how we spent Father's Day this year celebrating our very favorite man.

 Good Dads pretend to enjoy frozen pancakes

Good Dads pretend to enjoy frozen pancakes

I made sure I was prepared for Father's Day with bacon, eggs, and the fancy artisan bread that yields the best french toast. However, Saturday night, our oldest son announced that he was going to make Dad breakfast in bed. He said that he wanted to make him some pancakes, but he'd need help from me with the microwave. You guys, Mike doesn't cry. Ever. I often pick on him and ask him if he even has any feelings other than happy or in a hurry, but our little boy brought a tear to his eye that night. We woke up Sunday morning and had coffee together then I sent him back to bed before the boys got up. As promised, I helped Bennett with the microwave and they presented Daddy with three not-so-fresh blueberry pancakes in bed.

 Good Dads get coffee cups.

Good Dads get coffee cups.

Mike and I often go overboard with gifts for each other (ahem 5DMkIV), so a few years ago, I decided that Father's Day would be for "cheesy" gifts. Cliche gifts that come to mind for Dads - tshirts, ties, silly socks, tools - you get the idea. This year he got this mug. It's huge y'all, he probably won't ever use it, but since he is actually the best dad ever, it fit. 

 Good Dads play peek-a-boo

Good Dads play peek-a-boo

Moms aren't the only ones with restroom visitors.

 Good Dads work hard.

Good Dads work hard.

Another thing you might not know about Michael is that he can not stand an uncut yard. He mows every weekend, even on Father's Day.

 Good Dads make the job fun.

Good Dads make the job fun.

And of course, he had to squeeze in some lawn mower donuts.

 Good Dads come by it honest.

Good Dads come by it honest.

We had lunch with my in-laws and got to celebrate all of the Dads. I married into the best family. It's no wonder Michael is such a great Dad; my father in law is also a hard working man with a heart of gold and fierce love for family.

 Good Dads are silly.

Good Dads are silly.

 Good Dads keep your secrets safe.

Good Dads keep your secrets safe.

 Good Dads read bedtime stories.

Good Dads read bedtime stories.

 Good dads teach you about cavaties.

Good dads teach you about cavaties.

 Good Dads remind you that you're safe.

Good Dads remind you that you're safe.

So there you have it - Father's Day 2017. It wasn't extravagant and it was actually a lot like every other day, but maybe that's what made it so special after all. 

Summer Vacation | Denver, CO | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography by Michael Wade

Summer Vacation 2017 | Denver, CO

This year is a first for our little (large by today's standards) family of 5. We packed our bags, loaded the minivan to capacity and set sail to Denver, CO. The trip is a two birds, one stone kind of trip. I'm here for the Dear Photographer Out of the Box Collective but we decided to tack on a few more days to the trip and have a little family vacation. 

Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Downtown Aquarium

 Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Denver Museum of Nature and Science | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Downtown Aquarium Denver | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Downtown Aquarium Denver | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Downtown Aquarium Denver | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Downtown Aquarium Denver | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Downtown Aquarium Denver | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Downtown Aquarium Denver | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Georgetown Loop Railroad

 Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

 Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Georgetown Loop Railroad | Rural Life Photography | Mike Wade

Small Town Friday Night | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography by Michael Wade

Memorial Day Weekend Concert and Street Dance Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Darwynn Nail | Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Darwynn Nail | Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Darwynn Nail | Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Darwynn Nail | Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Giblet Head | Matt Davis | Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Giblet Head | Matt Davis | Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Giblet Head | Chris Spicer and Matt Davis | Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Giblet Head | Chris Spicer and Matt Davis | Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Giblet Head | Chris Spicer | Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Giblet Head | Chris Spicer | Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Giblet Head | Chris Spicer | Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Giblet Head | Chris Spicer | Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Giblet Head | Ryan Compton | Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Giblet Head | Ryan Compton | Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Giblet Head | Chris Spicer | Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Giblet Head | Chris Spicer | Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Mike "The Pirate" | Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Mike "The Pirate" | Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Clifton VFD Dunk Booth |Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Clifton VFD Dunk Booth |Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Lemonade Stand | Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Lemonade Stand | Whitney, TX

 Memorial Day Concert | Lemonade Stand | Whitney, TX

Memorial Day Concert | Lemonade Stand | Whitney, TX

Out of Focus Memories | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography by Michael Wade

We've all been there... The photography gods bless us with the perfect moment and gorgeous light but for some reason we miss focus and the moment is gone... Unfortunately, this has happened to me on too many occasions. 

Fortunately, missing focus didn't impact my memory of the moment and I doubt it has for you. Each photograph I take of my boys allows me to travel back in time and relive the memory again, regardless if it's in focus or not. 

 First can of silly string

First can of silly string

 The day you said "I'm just like you"

The day you said "I'm just like you"

 You were running a 101 degree temperature

You were running a 101 degree temperature

 We dug for buried treasure

We dug for buried treasure

Don't Rush | Mike Wade | Rural Life Photography by Michael Wade

We have all been there... "I'm trying to find my editing style", "I want my photos to look consistent" While I'm super sympathetic to both of those quotes, don't rush yourself. Finding an editing style can take you YEARS to nail down. Don't be afraid to slow down, experiment with different styles, or (hold your breath) have ZERO "style". 

Don't get me wrong... If you are looking to have a photography business then "style" and "consistency" are important. However, if you are a hobbyist, enjoy your freedom and let the photograph dictate your final destination. 

Here are a couple of photographs, all taken during the same 2 hours, but edited differently (all because I felt like I was trying to capture that particular moment in a different way).
 

"Because playing the sprinkler with two boys can go from "Happy" to "Sad" in the blink of an eye"
"I hated the yellow tint of the grass in this photo and decided I liked them better with a blueish hue"
"The colors from the slip and slide were so bright and I wanted to showcase that"

I guess all I'm saying is... don't rush to find a style. Explore, fail, or do what makes you happy. When I free myself from the burden of being in a "style" box, I'm more happy with my photographs.